A volume of short stories by the author of The Brothers Ashkenazi. They bear out the achievement of the novel, in establishing once again the author's power and vividness of characterization and almost brutal reality in showing the ways of life and thought. The majority of the stories are Polish village or rural scenes and figures; there is one story against an American setting. Almost unrelievedly sombre in tone, there is even so a sort of warmth and mellowness that makes you sense the human being beneath the squalor and sordidness. I liked the peasant stories best, and would suggest Late Spring as typical of these. Some of the stories have a sadistic quality -- for example, the unforgettable Old City. Blood is perhaps the cruelest story of all -- and the most powerful. The Jewish aspects are subordinate, taken in the stride of the stories themselves. Singer is a writer to be reckoned with.